Vinyl tile is an inexpensive flooring material found in many homes that is highly susceptible to damage. Often placed in traffic heavy areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, it can easily become scratched or otherwise damaged. If you notice a few modest scratches, you can probably repair these areas rather than replacing the entire floor. However, if your vinyl tile regularly accumulates these signs of wear, you may have to seek another flooring for the space.
This repair will take several days to complete when drying time is considered. Work in sections on your floor to avoid foot traffic marring the repairs: you may have to repair vinyl tile in a often used room, such as a kitchen, over the course of a few weeks.
Step 1: Use a vinyl tile floor cleaner to clean the area around the scratch thoroughly. Any household cleaner that is appropriate for use on vinyl is appropriate to use. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any cleaner residue, then follow with a cloth used to dry the area.
Step 2: Carefully rub lacquer thinner into the scratch on the vinyl tiles and the surrounding areas. Use a soft cloth and buff the area for only 15 seconds. Let the area dry completely before proceeding.
TIP: Wear gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask to work with lacquer thinner. You should also make sure that the doors and windows in the room remain open to provide adequate ventilation while you repair any scratches in the vinyl tile.
Step 3: Apply a small bead of liquid seam sealer along the scratch on the vinyl tile. Allow the seam sealer to dry completely. Avoid any type of foot traffic on the vinyl flooring for at least 24 hours.
TIP: If you have extra tiles, you can also replace particularly damaged areas with new vinyl tiles, rather than simply repairing the scratch. Use a heat gun to loosen the adhesive on the damaged tile, then pry it up using a putty knife. Spread vinyl tile adhesive on the back of a new tile, then press the tile into place. Put a heavy object over the tile to press out any air bubbles and let the vinyl tile dry.